Month: April 2011

Engineering Artists

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A lot of people ask how can engineers do creative things because following rules and adding one to one don’t exactly fall under the artistic criteria. However, in my life, I’ve met people who succeeded as engineers and as artists as well. Take Rana Ashour for example. RA graduated from AUS as a Civil Engineer with honors. Then she got a job as a structural engineer. Still left-side-of-the-brain related, right?

The academic system never allowed RA to explore the artistic side of herself since in school she never did any art work or anything. But come one time less than a year after graduation, and RA hit rock bottom for many personal reasons.So you can imagine how that felt; too much negative energy stored. Then one day while watching her sister draw portraits for her university project, she talked to her and decided to open a mini/home business on facebook. The project began as Ashour Gifts where she turned the negative energy into positive energy.

Since then the project’s been growing. A lot of friends and family members helped raise this project to where it has become now including Jihad Mnasria. The name has changed to Hadayaz and RA has made appearances in AUS alumni dinner and global day. What I personally like about Hadayaz is how simple and unique the ideas are. There’s “Butterfliez” an eye-catching tree full of memories. Also under the title “Milk-a-holicz,” a personalized baby book is created. Who would have thought of making a baby book for a baby?

Baby Book
Baby Book

More can be found on Hadayaz on the Facebook Group; “Hadayaz Ashour”

That’s my review for today.

Hadeeth of The Day – On Friends

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1) The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A man will follow the religion of his close friend, so let each of you look to who he takes a close friend.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2378; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1937

كما قال عليه الصلاة والسلام: “الرجل على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل” -رواه أبو داود والترمذيُ بإسناد صحيح2)
The Muslim must strive to find good friends who will help him to do good, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The likeness of a righteous companion and an evil companion is that of one who carries musk and one who works a bellows. With the one who carries musk, either he will give you some or you will buy from him or you will notice a pleasant fragrance from him. With the one who work a bellows, either he will burn your clothes or you will notice a foul odour from him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5534; Muslim, 2628, from Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari, may Allaah be pleased with him

عن أبي موسى الأشعري رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : “مثل الجليس الصالح والسوء: كحامل المسك، ونافخ الكِير. فحامل المسك: إما أن يَحْذِيَك، وإما أن تبتاع منه، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً طيبة. ونافخ الكير: إما أن يحرق ثيابك، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً خبيثة” متفق عليه.


Welcome to Kanjoos-istan

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Kanjoos means thrifty, frugal, bakheel, zu66, kanjoos. So you got it right. This note is a quick one on money matters because I need it more than anybody else.

1. Buy things on sale. Wait until the sale season or when people are clearing to buy your clothes, shoes, etc…also try to convince yourself that being out of fashion and having money in your pocket is always  better than being in fashion AND in debt.

2. Don’t buy things on sale. This might seem to contradict with # 1, but it doesn’t. Don’t  buy “things you don’t need” on sale. In other words, don’t fall into the “sale” scam, the “purchase-now-or-regret” scam when you know pretty well that you wouldn’t have bought that thing to start with – if it weren’t on sale.

3. Don’t change money because change disappears so fast. There’s a saying that goes like, take care of the fils and the dirhams will take care of themselves.

4. Save, save, save as though the financial crisis would have a meltdown tomorrow. And I say it again, save, save, save and if you can’t…”Save As…”

5. Don’t fall into marketers schemes to get your money. Watch your favorite shows on Youtube so you can skip advertisements. Plus they’re free.

6. The latte effect [and yes I am guilty of that, but check this out to know it’s ‘market research’]. But this is how the latte effect goes. Let’s say you spend 15 dirhams on coffee at carribou cafe every working day (I’m canceling weekend here). So that’s 75 dirhams per week, 300 dirhams per month, 3600 dirhams per year. Let’s say you keep this habit going for 5 years. That’s 18,000 dirhams.

Think of all the things you could have bought for that money if you weren’t a coffee addict.

The rest of the points are to be done at your own risk – and with people you’re close with ONLY (aka family).

8. Always get your brothers/parents to fill your phone credit. A famous trick is to send them a call request and if they’re smart enough they’ll get the point that you need credit,so they’ll fill your phone with as little as 5 dirhams….repeat process for the whole month (or the whole year).

9. When you go out, forget your wallet at home. Or don’t carry cash, only carry cards, and then go out for dinner at a place that you know doesn’t accept cards. So someone else ends up paying the bills.

10. Make them happy with small, small purchases like chocolates and milk…and they’ll make you happy with big, big purchases like fancy dinners out, and if you’re lucky enough…a car….

That’s it for today.


P.S. I don’t always follow my own advice

Dream Job

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So the other day I posted “What’s your ideal job?” on my FB profile, and the answers ranged from housewife to travel show host and dean of the institute. But if one looks at the answers, they notice that the person is currently not doing what they’d rather be doing, and isn’t that the sad storyline of our lives?

So how do you test whether or not you love your job? Answer this question; if you suddenly won a million dollars, would you continue doing what you’re doing.

I know my answer.


And I’m sure half of you would sign their resignation letters as well if they won that much money. Also, some of you might try to park in the CEO’s parking at work – just for the sake of it. Bas heik, zanakha. Assuming 44 years of work in an average lifetime, that’s equivalent to 91,250 hours of work. Hours that you happily give away to someone else, leaving you with less hours to spend with people you’d rather spend time with.

Putting it that way, things don’t seem too appealing, do they?

Yet we course through life like that, half-passionate (if at all) about what we are really doing, dreaming of that perfect escape. Two of the answers on my FB profile had “own a coffeeshop”. One had “writer”. Funny, how those two are things I always dreamt of doing myself, in addition to own a real estate company and make a difference in the world somehow (someone had “make a difference in the world” in the answer as well).

So where am I when it comes to those dreams? For Dream 1. For the coffeeshop, I drink coffee myself so I can fool myself into believing that I’m doing market research – highly overpriced aromatic market research. For Dream 2, I have this blog. For Dream 3, I am nowhere. And for Dream 4, I have this blog.

So what about you?

What’s your dream job and where are you today, close or far from your dream job?